Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's A Bird, It's A Plane . . .

For the past month or two, eye-catching signs have been popping up all over the place advertising a brand new business.
Zip Lines.
Located out of town, near our huge lake, brand new zip lines have been installed and my kids could not wait to try them out. They had to wait a few weeks, but after church we followed the signs and there it was - just what my daredevil children had been anticipating.

The pictures aren't perfect, but they were moving FAST! On the last ride, my girl decided to hang upside down. My heart didn't start beating again until her feet were on solid ground.

My son decided that riding the line in an upright fashion was much more to his liking.

Zip lines were definitely a hit with these two and they are already planning more trips this summer. Mom and Dad were content with zip lining as a spectator sport.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lazy Hazy Days of Summer

Family hike tonight! Getting rid of cable was the best decision we ever made :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Fought the Shot and the Shot Won

I've been a bit remiss in posting this week. I was out of commission, taken down by a tetanus shot. Not one of my finer moments. My grandma would have called me a prim rose. Being a prim rose is not a good thing in these parts. My tale of woe started on Monday afternoon while on a visit to my doctor (who is quite possibly the coolest doctor on the planet). Due to my upcoming mission trip (less than a month away), it was necessary for me to get my immunizations updated. That meant a combination tetanus/pertussis vaccine. Didn't hurt much at all - until the next morning that is. Throbbing arm and a low grade fever caused much grumbling and whining at my house. I have it on good authority that I might be a wimp. I'm not proud of it, but those are the facts.
Fascinating, thus far, isn't it?
After a day of feeling much better and with a exponentially better attitude, we resumed our evening walks. Tonight we hiked a trail through the woods, sadly littered with broken beer bottles. Suddenly, that tetanus shot didn't seem like such a bad idea. There were several trees down across the path, requiring us to climb over or under nature's obstacle course. As an aside, my husband would have you believe that I intentionally maimed him by pushing a dead tree onto his leg. That was NOT my intention. I did yell move - he just didn't react quickly enough. Poor man sustained three scratches down the back of his calf. I thought we were going to have to amputate. Just kidding, hon. You know I love you!
The trail opened up at the peak of the town graveyard, so we headed home on the meandering path back down the cemetery hill. As we looked at the old gravestones, the number of young people in the older section was sad. I wondered how many of them died of illnesses completely preventable today. Again, the tetanus shot was looking better and better. How fortunate we are!
So, I will end with the word that has been on my mind all evening - Thankful.

I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.

Psalm 138:2 NIV

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reflecting on a Wonderful Weekend

Our weekend officially started with a walk to the Farmer's Market on Thursday, enjoying fresh strawberries and blueberries on the return walk. Whoopie pies, too!
Then came our annual family trip to the rodeo. We love the rodeo, we really do. It's a great family outing, and this particular one is also a fundraiser for a small Catholic school in a nearby town. So, it's a win-win situation.
I tried to get pictures of the bronco and bull riding, but everything just happened so fast once they were out of the shoot.
I am sorry I didn't catch this cowboy's name. The back of his vest read, "Rodeo With Jesus" and his chaps were emblazoned with crosses. I was impressed with his bold faith - he knelt in prayer behind the bull pen before climbing into the pen with his bull. He was thrown rather quickly, got up and dashed out of the bull's path, and knelt again in the corner of the arena before standing and accepting his applause.
We spent a lazy Saturday hiding out from the worst of the heat watching movies together in the AC, but emerged and took an evening walk together before the storms set in. Father's Day was a great day spent with family as well. I live for weekends like this!
Long live lazy summer weekends!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Evening Ramble

My hubby and I have been enjoying our evening walks immensely. For the past week, we have been choosing increasingly challenging treks. Tonight, was the best of all.
First, lets take a look at this beauty blooming on the front porch!
We hiked all the way up to the highest point in town. It was steep. It was the hardest walk thus far, but oh, my. It was so, so worth it!

Remember this post? I loved taking in this view of the mountains and valleys stretching off into the distance.

And finally, a picture of me, triumphantly enjoying the splendor of God's creation!

The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.

Habakkuk 3:19

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Favorite Quotes

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
C. S. Lewis

One can give without loving, but cannot love without giving.
Amy Carmichael

When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.
Fanny Crosby

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.
D. L. Moody

Friday, June 11, 2010

Whirlwind Week

What a week this has been!
Just as my children celebrated their last day of school, my daughter's last day of middle school *sniffle*, I received my book list for my first college course at Lancaster Bible College. In a little over a month, I will officially begin classes. So, while my kids kick back and relax, mom will be hitting the books.
I'm sorry I didn't keep up with blogging about this week by week, but this was our final week of the Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst. Those six weeks flew by! I highly recommend this study, each lesson was better than the last and the messages were challenging, faith strengthening and went straight to the heart. I hope that she writes many, many more Bible studies. We used the DVD that went with the book as well, and each lesson was like visiting with a dear friend.
On the home front, we are shifting from school schedules to summer schedules and the more relaxed pace is like manna from Heaven. Evenings spent walking through our neighborhood or reading on the front porch while enjoying a breeze, are divine. The garden is planted (on a much more modest scale than last year) and the plum trees are laden with fruit.
Summer here we come!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Honeymoon Memories

First Monday of every month at Chrysalis
Sixteen years ago next month, my brand new husband and I set off on our honeymoon with a beat up Oldsmobile and limited funds. Our destination was Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, where we would be staying at a beautiful lodge in the woods. In what would be a preview into future family trips, we ran into massive road construction, the car overheated, we got lost and we laughed like maniacs at the entire fiasco! Upon entering the park, we paid for our entrance fee and made our way on Skyline Drive to the lodge. Our accommodations were gorgeous, and well worth the trials it took to get there.
We spent hours driving around enjoying the wildlife, hiking to see various waterfalls and rock formations and visiting historical spots around the park. The two of us had so much fun simply being together!
The honeymoon memories we keep coming back to, however, is the food. You see, when we paid our entrance fee, we naively paid for a one-way ticket, not a one week pass, which would have allowed us to come and go from the park as we pleased. We were stuck. The lodge had a restaurant, but after the first morning, the stark realization that our coffers would not hold out long against $15.00 blueberry pancakes, caused a bit of consternation. There were precious few other options. Fortunately, we found a small campground store and stocked up on snack foods to make the money stretch - and we laughed like maniacs about $15.00 blueberry pancakes.
Such very good memories of our first trip together. And just like all of the trips that have followed, none have been perfect, but all have been memorable!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sometimes, God Speaks Greyhound

I want to be very honest here - I am NOT a big fan of change. I like to be in control. Experiencing a panic attack was terrifying - I was definitely not in control. It required change, again not a fan. My response to this happening was completely mature and rational. I pouted. And pouted. And pouted. Also, I whined. And cried. I didn't want this. I didn't understand where God was in this. I prayed (but mostly I just whined at God and called it praying).
One night recently, I was laying on our couch, trying to nap, but mostly just complaining to God, that I just didn't feel very close to Him. It was quite the pity party. No sooner did I pray that, I felt one of the dogs climbing up beside me. I braced myself for Runner's boneless 70 pounds of deadweight to flop down on top of me. When that didn't come, I looked over to see Midnite, ever so gently curling up beside my legs. Just to explain, Midnite does not cuddle. She is affectionate, but she wants at least half the couch or nothing, and you must not touch her or she huffs in exasperation and gets up. But, right there for the first time ever, Midnite voluntarily snuggled down with me.
Four years ago, we decided to adopt a greyhound. We had visited with some of the already adopted dogs and promptly submitted an application. Shortly thereafter, we were matched with a small female recently retired from racing in Florida. The kids were so excited to go pick up our dog. We went through the fenced in yard and were greeted eagerly by three other dogs, while Midnite slunk in the background. Despite our best efforts, she hid behind the other dogs and spurned our attempts at getting acquainted. There were reservations because of her spookiness and a household with kids, but we decided to go ahead with a two week trial period. During that test run, we discovered to Midnite was terrified of everything and everyone. We walked her with a harness and a collar lest she panic and slip out of one or the other. When she wasn't scared out of her mind, she was depressed, lying in a far corner, curled up in a tiny ball, pretending we didn't exist. She almost didn't stay. Somewhere along the line, she decided that she trusted us. Midnite became the sweetest, quirkiest, smartest dog we could have ever imagined. I had forgotten the skinny, shy, scaredy hound we brought home.
When Midnite curled up with me as I was grousing at God for seeming far away, I was reminded that not long ago, the pup curled up at my feet was a lot like me. The only difference was, she trusted us. Did I trust Him?